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U.S. serviceman rescued from Afghanistan

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- U.S. Special Forces Saturday successfully retrieved a U.S. serviceman who was ill in Afghanistan, after a previous attempt Friday ended in the crash-landing of one search-and-rescue helicopter, U.S. military officials said.

Officials at the U.S. Central Command would not disclose where the mission took place inside Afghanistan, nor would they say to which branch of the military the serviceman belongs.

In the first attempt to retrieve the serviceman Friday, one of two helicopters in the search-and-rescue mission crash-landed in severe weather, the Pentagon sasaid. Four.S. military personnel were hurt, but their injuries were not considered life-threatening.

The helicopter accident happened around 11 p.m. Friday local time (1:30 p.m. ET), the U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

The statement said F-14 Tomcats from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt have since destroyed the damaged helicopter. The location of where the accident happened in Afghanistan was not disclosed.

In another mishap, U.S. military officials said a Predator, an unarmed U.S. Air Force unmanned aerial vehicle, was reported missing Friday. They blamed that incident on bad weather.

A statement from U.S. military officials at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, said there is no plan to recover the aircraft. No sensitive technology will be compromised abandoning the missing craft, the statement said.

The Predator is one of many systems used for reconnaissance and surveillance to monitor Al Qaeda and Taliban activities.

On Friday, the Pentagon said freezing rain has hampered efforts in getting more U.S. Special Forces into Afghanistan. The United States already has put an undisclosed number of Special Forces troops in the country to help with targeting and other liaison initiatives.

"The ones who are presently trying to get in have not yet successfully gotten in," U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Stufflebeem said.


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